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SpamButcher - Behind the Cleaver
Fuzzy logic seems to be uniquely well suited to stopping spam email. It assigns different objects or ideas to multiple sets to varying degrees.
The fact that a car is traveling 40 mph might suggest that the transmission should belong 20% to the 2rd gear set, and 40% to the 3nd gear set and 40% to the 4th gear set.
If the car is traveling up a slight hill, a fuzzy rule might suggest increasing the weight of the set to the lower gears, while decreasing the weight of the higher gears. A steeper hill might have the same effect to a larger degree.
With spam filter software different components about the message are examined. This can include the message text, header and possibly even if the sending server is on any blacklists.
After factoring all these variables the 3rd gear might have largest weight - with 75%. In the end, the computer would decide to put the car in 3rd gear, since the car presumable can't actually be in two gears at once.
With an anti-spam filter programs, the message must either be filtered or not. Bayesian spam filtering uses similar concepts.
In other applications the actual result can be fuzzy - such as setting the speed of a fan.